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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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January 24, 2012

Table of Contents

Apple Unveils iTunes U App for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch
Cool Links: Infographic--Apple, iPads, Digital Resources and Education
Discovery Education Launches Discovery Education LIVE Webinar Series
Adobe Foundation Announces Call for Entries for the Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards
Gale and National Geographic Sign Agreement for Magazine Archive
Pearson Launches PowerSchool Mobile for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad
Cool Links: Ebooks and School Libraries
PBS TeacherLine Aligns Courses to Common Core State Standards

Apple Unveils iTunes U App for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch

Apple has announced an all-new iTunes U app, giving educators and students access on their iPad, iPhone and iPod touch to entire courses. The iTunes U app lets teachers create and manage courses including essential components such as lectures, assignments, books, quizzes and syllabuses and offer them to iOS users around the world. The iTunes U app gives iOS users access a catalog of free educational content from top universities including Cambridge, Duke, Harvard, Oxford and Stanford, and any K-12 school district can offer full courses through the iTunes U app. iTunes U has already become a popular learning tool for students with over 700 million downloads. 

With the iTunes U app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, students anywhere can take an entire course with complete access to all course materials. With the iTunes U app, students are able to access new books right from within the app, and any notes taken in iBooks are consolidated for easy reviewing. In addition to reading books, viewing presentations, lectures and assignment lists, students can receive push notifications so they always have the latest class information. The iTunes U app is available as a free download from the App Store.

Educators can quickly and easily create, manage and share their courses, quizzes and handouts through a web-based tool and utilize content and links from the iTunes U app, the Internet, iBookstore or the App Store as part of their curriculum. They can also upload and distribute their own documents such as Keynote, Pages, Numbers or books made with iBooks Author.

Source: Apple, www.apple.com

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Cool Links: Infographic--Apple, iPads, Digital Resources and Education

From the schoollibrarymanagement.com website: "On January 18, a news article, Apple Is Said to Plan Digital-Textbook Push to Bolster IPad Use in Schools, heralded that Apple would be announcing a set of tools that make it easier to publish interactive textbooks and other digital educational content. The announcement happened in New York on January 19. The following infographic helps to explain the announcement....."

Take a look HERE. It's a great visual.

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Discovery Education Launches Discovery Education LIVE Webinar Series

Discovery Education has launched a webinar series titled Discovery Education LIVE. Designed to help students understand the importance of their education and motivate them to make a difference, the webinar series will feature thought leaders on a variety of topics of importance to students and educators throughout the year.

To kick off the series, Discovery Education is hosting a webinar on Jan. 23, and again on Jan. 25, featuring General (Retired) and Mrs. Colin L. Powell of America's Promise Alliance (America's Promise). General and Mrs. Powell will speak to students about the high school dropout crisis, why it's more important than ever to get a high school diploma and the important role students can play in helping their peers stay in school. America's Promise is the nation's largest partnership organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth. Comprised of 400+ nonprofit groups, businesses, communities, educators and policy makers, America's Promise believes the success of young people is grounded in Five Promises: caring adults; safe places; a healthy start; an effective education; and opportunities to help others.

Additional webinars in the Discovery Education LIVE series include:

  • "Your Role in Combating Poverty in America" featuring Mark Shriver of Save the Children on Jan. 25. Shriver will speak to students about poverty in America, the importance of education as a fundamental way to fight the effects of poverty and their role in finding solutions and making positive differences in their local communities. Shriver currently is head of U.S. programs for Save the Children, the leading independent organization creating lasting change in the lives of children in need in the United States and around the world.
  • "The Making of an American Candidate: The Road to the White House, Congress, the State House and Beyond" featuring Tom Downey (D) and Ray McGrath (R), former members of the U.S. House of Representatives on March 5. Downey and McGrath will provide students a behind-the-scenes look at how one goes from candidate to elected official. With political campaigns in full swing across the U.S., Downey and McGrath will explain the elements of a political campaign and the election process. They will also discuss how Super Tuesday is an important milestone in choosing a presidential nominee.

Information about upcoming webinars will be available at www.discoveryeducation.com\webinars.

Source: Discovery Education, www.discoveryeducation.com

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Adobe Foundation Announces Call for Entries for the Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards

The Adobe Foundation's Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) has announced the call for entries for the Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards, a new opportunity for youth worldwide to submit their most compelling digital work to an international, online media competition.

The AYV Aspire Awards is open to students ages 13-18, who are working in partnership with an educator or media mentor in the AYV Program. To become part of this program, any educator is invited to register quickly and without cost by visiting the Adobe Youth Voices Essentials site.

AYV Essentials members have access to creative curricula, webinars and education newsletters, as well as being eligible with their students to participate in the Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards.

Educators are invited to submit student video, print and audio projects in eight sub-categories, including: animation, documentary, music video, narrative video, poetry/experimental video, audio and graphic design photography.

A global panel of peers, youth media professionals, educators, media industry experts and celebrities will evaluate submissions. First and second place recipients, as well as audience choice winners will be selected in each category. Prizes will include software, cash and more for winners' schools/organizations and charity of choice.

Dell Inc. and Samsung Electronics America, Inc are co-sponsoring the awards, providing laptops and camcorders, respectively, for prize packages in each category.

Call for submissions: Now - Friday, April 20, 2012

Finalist announcement: May 4, 2012

Online public voting for audience choice awards: May 4 - June 8, 2012

Final winner announcement: June 18, 2012

For detailed information about submission guidelines, deadlines, categories and more, visit www.youthvoices.adobe.com.

For more information about the AYV Aspire Awards, please visit www.youthvoices.adobe.com/awards.

Adobe Youth Voices is the Adobe Foundation's global philanthropic initiative that empowers youth from underserved communities with digital media skills so they can comment on their world, share their ideas and take action on issues that are important to them. The Adobe Youth Voices global network now includes more than 750 sites, grantees and organizations in 50 countries, engaging over 150,000 youth and 8,200 educators in schools and out-of-school programs. For more information, visit www.youthvoices.adobe.com.

Source: Adobe Foundation's Adobe Youth Voices, www.youthvoices.adobe.com

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Gale and National Geographic Sign Agreement for Magazine Archive

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, and National Geographic have announced an agreement to provide an online archive of more than 100 years of National Geographic magazine. Available to libraries this spring, National Geographic Magazine Archive, 1888-1994 will include all issues of the magazine in a fully searchable and intuitive interface.

Also included in the more-than-100,000-page archive will be every photograph published in the magazine through 1994. Among the first to use color photography, National Geographic magazine is widely known to contain the highest quality photojournalism in the world, with each photograph allowing readers to visually explore the new worlds they are learning about. In addition to each page and photograph, the archive will include the detailed maps published by the magazine throughout its history. The maps help to provide context and reference for readers who are learning about unknown and often remote regions and cultures for the first time.

For more information on the National Geographic Magazine Archive, 1888-1994, visit http://gdc.gale.com/. You can also learn more about the archive and other Gale products at the Gale booth (#2219) on the exhibit floor of the American Library Association Midwinter meeting in Dallas, Texas, Jan. 20-23.

Source: Cengage Learning and Gale,  www.cengage.com or www.gale.cengage.com

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Pearson Launches PowerSchool Mobile for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad

Pearson has announced the launch of PowerSchool for Parents and PowerSchool for Students, two new free apps for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Now available on the App Store, these apps provide real-time access to attendance, grades, assignments, scores and more to the 10 million students and their parents whose schools use PowerSchool, Pearson's widely used web-based student information system. 

Both apps were designed for fast, easy "one-thumb" browsing, allowing students and parents to quickly access the latest school information from any location. For parents, a "Live Feed" streams all information for all students for the current week in a single view. 

Parents who had the opportunity to test the PowerSchool for Parents app had high praise for its ease-of-use and ability to keep pace with their children's school lives on the go, according to the announcement.

Integration with social media sites, Facebook and Twitter, allows students and parents to share official grades and scores with their friends and family.

To use the apps, students must attend a school that uses PowerSchool version 7.1 or higher.  For more information about PowerSchool, visit www.PearsonSchoolSystems.com.

Source: Pearson, www.pearson.com

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Cool Links: Ebooks and School Libraries

From ALA's American Libraries magazine, a great article on ebooks and school libraries. Part of the first two paragraphs should get you into it:

In their efforts to implement ebooks, school libraries face a set of challenges that differ from those confronting their public and academic counterparts. In addition to the struggle they share with other types of libraries to offer current bestselling fiction ebooks, school libraries are also working to secure backlist fiction, curriculum-focused nonfiction, and multiple copies of books for group use. At the same time, however, they are fortunate to have a strong working relationship with many different publishers and vendors that work within the K-12 market.

To better explore these challenges and advantages, it helps to consider a few different school library ebook-use scenarios. ...

Click HERE to link to the entire article, "Ebooks and School Libraries." 

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PBS TeacherLine Aligns Courses to Common Core State Standards

As states implement Common Core State Standards for English language arts and mathematics, educators face substantial challenges adapting their instruction to match the new framework. The standards have been approved in 45 states and the District of Columbia, and many districts are planning to implement strategies in the upcoming school year that migrate instruction, curriculum and assessment to the new standards. To help educators prepare for upcoming changes, PBS TeacherLine has aligned its online professional development courses with Common Core State Standards.

The alignment means that PBS TeacherLine reading/language arts and mathematics courses provide professional development training and resources that help teachers develop lessons and deliver instruction based on Common Core State Standards and meet students' individual needs, the announcement states. Teachers can better gauge student progress in mastering the standards and modify instruction to address weaknesses and accelerate achievement. 

PBS TeacherLine offers more than 80 graduate-level courses in reading/language arts, mathematics, science, STEM, instructional strategies, and technology integration. PBS TeacherLine works to anticipate educators' needs, continuously modifying its resources and course offerings to address prevalent education trends. In response to the heightened importance placed on climate change and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, PBS TeacherLine worked with NASA to create a series of full online courses and shorter modules that help educators integrate digital media resources into classroom instruction to capture students' interest and reinforce important academic concepts.

Source: PBS TeacherLine, www.pbs.org/teacherline

 

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